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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

TWO RULES TO LIVE BY

Last night two events reminded me of two very important rules we should all live by:

1. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.
2. Sharing too much personal information with a complete stranger can be inappropriate. Sharing pleasantries is fine, but there is a line between what is appropriate and what is not. We all must learn where that line is.

So last night David and I arrived at our local pool to swim some laps and it was crowded. I jumped in a lane with two ladies. Both were very kind and understood what I meant when I asked them if we could "circle swim", which is a good sign that they have some lap swimming manners. I could not have been more wrong. It turns out that the older of the two women in my lane was SLOW. I'm talking really slow. I was lapping her every 4-5 lengths. Luckily she was easy to pass. The other woman was a little faster, but not so polite about being passed. She loved pushing off right in front of me so I had to go around her. Anyways, I swam with these ladies for about half an hour and then moved into a lane with David and another woman, who were both easy to swim with and more my speed.

We got out of the pool about 20 minutes later, dried off, and then went to the locker rooms to change. As I walked into the locker room, I could hear one of the two women I had swum with earlier in the evening talking. And as I got closer I heard her talking about ME. She and the younger woman I had been sharing a lane with were complaining about me - saying I was too fast for their lane and that I was running them over at every wall. They were referring to me as the "fast lady in the bright pink bathing suit". At one point I think they were talking about whether I was pregnant or not. Anyways, the main point of their conversation was that I was too fast and was in their way. They were talking as if it was their pool and I was unwelcome there. They made me feel bad for swimming faster than them. And all of this was taking place in the public locker room. I was insulted when I heard it all, but decided to just face them head-on. I talked into the locker room (pink bathing suit showing) and plopped my stuff right down between them. The older woman gathered her belongings up quickly and said good-bye to the other woman. She couldn't even look at me. I hope she felt bad. There was no reason for her to be complaining about me. Maybe she should have moved to the lane marked for slower swimmers! The other lady left soon thereafter. She couldn't look at me either. I hope she felt bad, too.

I got dressed quickly and decided I should use the bathroom before we headed home. Unfortunately, there was no toilet paper in any of the stalls. While searching for a stall with some TP, I ran into another woman who had to go to the bathroom, too. Both of us were a little frustrated by the lack of TP. She went to the dressing area after finding no TP in two of the stalls. After deciding I would just wait until I got home to use the bathroom, I found a little bit of TP in one of the stalls. I went over to the lady I had just met and told her that there was enough TP in the first stall. And do you know what she said back to me?!?

She said, "Oh, that's ok. I'm just going to go and use the shower."

WHAT?!?!?!

Yes, folks, she was going to go and use the public shower at the public pool as her personal restroom. I'm not sure if I was more disturbed by what she was about to do or the fact that she just told me (a complete stranger) about her plans.

TMI = too much information.

I met David at the exit and was almost at a loss for words. I had just overheard two women saying mean things about me and then had another tell me about her plans to use the showers as her own bathroom. After trying to explain both stories to him, I decided not to focus on the fact that I was both MAD and DISGUSTED. Instead, I was going to use these events as reminders of what not to do.

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Today's to do list:
- finish a presentation for school (due next week)
- make granola (must go to the store first)
- make dinner for tomorrow night
- clear off the old bookshelf to make room for the new one (details about our big shopping weekend will be forthcoming)

Tomorrow: Hanging out with my friend, Bethann, and her family in Baltimore.

3 comments:

Jill said...

Gross! I wouldn't think for another minute about those two ladies. I had a similar experience at the gym. In step class, I was having trouble keeping up with the complicated (for me) moves, and this girl turned around to me and said, "why don't you watch Mary. she's doing the modified version." One thing I learned is that people can be really bitchy when you "interfere" with their workouts. I just wanted to say, "this class isn't just for you, lady!"

Carla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla said...

i totally relate to the swimming issue. i swim at a club where i could be every else's great-granddaughter. seriously. the pool is split - half for lap swimmers and half for recreational swimmers, so there are only 3 lane lines in the water, but others don't like to share. so sometimes i will swim on the outside of that last lane line just to be out of the recreational swimmers' way. meanwhile the people who are actually IN the lanes swim 1 lap to 5 of mine and rest for about 5 minutes after every lap...it's so frustrating!